Senate of Pakistan

Minutes of the Meeting

January 31, 2013


An in-camera meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Defence and Defence Production was held on 31st January, 2013 at 3:00 p.m. in Committee Room No. 1, Parliament House, Islamabad. The meeting was presided over by Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Chairman SSC on Defence and Defence Production. Following Members attended the meeting:-

1) Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed Chairman

2) Senator Sabir Ali Baloch, Deputy Chairman Member

3) Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar, Leader of Opposition Member

4) Senator Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain Member

5) Senator Col. (R) Syed Tahir Hussain Mashhadi Member

6) Senator Raja Muhammad Zafar-ul-Haq Member

7) Senator Haji Mohammad Adeel Khan Member  

8) Senator Sehar Kamran Member

The Secretary M/O Defence attended the meeting.

2. The meeting started with recitation from the Holy Quran by Senator Sehar Kamran.

3. The agenda before the Committee was as under:-
“Briefing on the violation of LOC by the Indian Forces and response by the Armed Forces of Pakistan”.

4. The Chairman of the Committee Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed in his opening remarks thanked the Members of Committee and Secretary Defence for the meeting at short notice. He said that the meeting was summoned to get accurate information regarding the worrying incidents and propaganda by a cross section of India.

5. The Secretary Defence Lt. Gen. (R) Asif Yasin Malik briefing the Committee on the incidents of violation of LOC by the Indian forces in January 2013 said that for the past many years the situation at LOC has been normal and the ceasefire was generally being respected by both sides. He said that in the night between 5th and 6th January, 2013, there was violation of LOC by Indian troops in the Gulmerg sector. The intruding troops came about 600yards in the territory and used small arms resulting in Shahadat of a Naek and injury to an other soldier of Pak Army. However, since the Pakistan troops were vigilant, they retaliated in a timely and effective manner forcing the intruding troops to run away leaving arms behind.

6. The Secretary Defence informed the Committee that on the very next day DGMO of Pakistan Army called his Indian counterpart and lodged complaint about the violation but till noon the Indian DGMO showed no knowledge of the incident. The Secretary said that suddenly the Indian side started a propaganda campaign accusing brutal killing of Indian soldiers and the campaign was so well calibrated that it reached from the LOC to Indian Parliament, media, Prime Minister and finally President within few days with constant escalation and barrage of acquisitions contrary to the facts of the incident as well as track record of Pakistan army. He said that being highly professional; Pakistan army can never do anything closer to the gruesome picture painted by the Indian army and political leadership and media. He said that hardly any such acquisitions had been leveled in the past by any side as professional armies normally avoid any such thing.

7. Giving his preliminary analysis of the reasons behind the acquisitions and propaganda campaign, the Secretary Defence said that, may be just to cover up the loss of arms by the intruding Indian troops the whole story was concocted. He said that there were other assessments that the Indian media and the political leadership wanted to divert the attention of their own public from some recent incidents in India, which had left scares on the superficial image of India. The Secretary gave details of the few incidents of violations in the followup and said that altogether there were sixteen violations  in five sectors. He said that for some time now the violations have stopped.

8. The Secretary Defence said that the response of the Pakistan Armed Forces was swift, vigilant and effective. He said that the cooperation and close coordination of the Defence Ministry with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs also helped in stopping unwarranted propaganda. He said that the Indian High Commissioner was summoned more than once to the Foreign Office and protest was launched.

9. The Secretary Defence said that from day one Pakistan Army and Foreign office had been asking for independent inquiry by the UN Observers Group which has not been agreed to by India thus showing the shallowness of the charges and acquisitions by the Indian army.

10. After the official briefing by the Secretary Defence, the Chairman of the Committee opened the meeting for comments by Members.

11. Senator Ch. Shujaat Hussain asked the Secretary Defence about the general practice and situation on the violation of LOC in the past. The Secretary Defence responded by saying that there had been a few minor violations and in view of the nature of LOC we had been living with that. However, he said that the recent incidents were different in nature, frequency and intensity.

12. Senator Sehar Kamran said that violations of LOC in Kashmir were furthering the violations of rights of people of Kashmir to which Pakistan has great commitment and solidarity. The Secretary Defence said that the recent incidents were more serious and attack on Pakistan’s sovereignty both physically and through propaganda.

13. Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar and Senator Raja Mohammad Zafar-ul-Haq were of the view that while protecting and safeguarding Pakistan’s interests and image we should not compromise on our principled stand and position on Kashmir issue. Senator Raja Mohammad Zafar-ul-Haq underlined the need to verify and clarify the facts of the recent violations because these have adversely affected the environment and peace process. He said that Indian Prime Minister is on record that it is no more business as usual. Likewise, the visa and trade liberalization process has suffered. He said that in view of the serious nature of acquisitions and the negative developments it was all the more important for Pakistan to find out facts and make these public locally, regionally and internationally.

14. Senator Sehar Kamran and Senator Raja Mohammad Zafar-ul-Haq pointed out many incidents where Pakistan has not properly pursued positive developments at the United Nations and other forums which were in line with the principled position of Pakistan while India has availed each and every opportunity to distract the attention from just and peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue as per UN Resolutions. The Secretary Defence said that Foreign office was in better position to answer these comments.

15. The Chairman of the Committee Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed said that UNMOG was in best position to conduct an inquiry and find facts but unfortunately the Indian side was not cooperating in this regard. He asked the Secretary Defence whether the Military to Military contact was reestablished after the incidents. The Secretary Defence responded that all along the contact was functional and now it was back to normal.

16. Senator Sabir Ali Baloch was of the view that the whole nation including the people from Balochistan were with Pakistan Defence Forces. However, in view of propaganda as well as covert activities in Balochistan by the enemies needed to be checked and genuine concerns of the people needed to be addressed.

17. The Committee unanimously passed a Resolution on the violation of LOC by Indian Forces which is annexed.

18. Senator Haji Mohammad Adeel pointed out the absence of the Minister for Defence in all meetings of the Committee. The Chairman of the Committee said that he was also unhappy on the fact that the Minister for Defence was not taking Parliamentary Committee Business seriously. The Committee Members unanimously expressed dissatisfaction on this and asked to convey to the Minister that he should try to attend Committee meetings in future.

19. Speaking on any other agenda item, Senator Haji Mohammad Adeel pointed out the growing difficulties being faced by the civilians living in cantonment areas and a disconnect between the Military Controlled Administration with the civilian population. He said that since elections for the Cantonment Boards were not held there was no representation of the people and till the elections the elected representatives including Members of Assemblies and Senate should be consulted by the Administration. Senator Col. ® Syed Tahir Hussain Mashhadi and Senator Sabir Ali Baloch also pointed out the insulting behavior of the persons at duty at the entry points in Cantonment areas despite clear cut identification and cooperation by the elected representatives. The Secretary Defence assured that he will pass instructions but said that it was for the security of the residents that checks were necessary. He also informed that in the light of the Supreme Court decision elections of the Cantonment Boards will be held as per the timeline specified by the Court. It was however decided that in the next meeting of the Committee, DG (ML&C) can answer the specific questions raised by the Members.

20. Senator Raja Mohammad Zafar-ul-Haq pointed out the difficulties in development work and employment of the local people of Kahuta area where due to sensitive installations free movement of foreigners was not allowed. He said that the people of the area had great sympathy and solidarity with the national defence cause but it was important for the organizations working in the area to give employment to local people. He said on the contrary some local people working on contract had been dismissed. Similarly, NGO or donor funded projects in these areas could not be initiated resulting in lack of opportunity and employment for the local people. Secretary Defence said that he will take up the matter with the quarters concerned. He however clarified that there were many ways to ensure that developmental work in such areas with the help of donors can be undertaken through prior scrutiny. Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar was also of the view that SOPs can be worked out to undertake developmental activities in sensitive areas.

21. The Chairman of the Committee appreciated the detailed professional briefing by the Secretary Defence and informed that as Chairman of the Committee he will be writing to his counterpart Chairman of the Indian Parliamentary Committee on Defence in the matter of violations of LOC and the propaganda by cross section of Indian society including politicians and parliamentarians.  

22. The Resolution adopted unanimously by the Committee is annexed.


(Amjed Pervez)                                                                                              (Mushahid Hussain Sayed)
Special Secretary /                                                                                          Chairman Committee
Secretary Committee    

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